New Zealand Spinach has been called “bush tucker” because it has often been foraged. Here is my cache of New Zealand Spinach, foraged from an area near a local beach. You can often find it in sandy soil that has a slight salt content. It has characteristically fat, spear-shaped leaves that tend to curl under a little at the edges. Here on the central coast, it’s best to pick it during the spring time (the earlier the better) before it goes to seed.
After washing, I usually blanch it in boiling water for about 1 minute (necessary to remove the oxalic acid, something that’s also found in broccoli, and a few other common vegetables). Then I saute it in a little olive oil, perhaps with a bit of garlic or onion. Great with fish. I love the stuff; it’s a very substantial, robust leaf vegetable that can fill you up pretty quickly. I can see how it would’ve been valued by travelers out in the bush.